Muslim girl attacked in UK over hijab
An Iranian Muslim girl has reportedly come under attack in Britain after refusing to remove her hijab amid a new wave of Islamophobia in Western countries.
The incident occurred on Wednesday when London resident Zahra Kazemi Saleh was attacked by four young British women as she was going home from school, Tabnak reported on Thursday.
The Iranian member of the Muslim Student Council was attacked in broad daylight by the girls who did not like Zahra’s refusal to take off her hijab.
Zahra sustained facial injuries in the encounter, which is not the first act of violence against a Muslim in Europe.
London’s Muslim Student Council condemned the attack, and blamed the British government for supporting the spread of Islamophobic opinions in the country.
The anti-hijab campaign in Europe is not limited to the UK, where Muslims account for three million of the country’s 60 million-strong population.
France has also put into effect a new ban on Islamic hijab, enforcing a fine worth EUR 150 (USD 216) on Muslim women who appear in public places wearing a burqa or niqab.
There is a similar ban in Belgium and lawmakers in the Netherlands are also working on a bill to forbid women from covering their faces in schools and government institutions.
So this is the great democracy and freedom we’re supposed to admire at work eh?
A societal and media-exacerbated stigmatisation so deep within segments of the population, that it fuels school girls to attack their fellow pupils, threatening and subsequently assaulting them because of their choice to wear the hijab, and their refusal to take it off under duress…
To all the anti-hijab/veil western ‘feminists’ looking out to “liberate” muslim women, and support a veil ban anywhere - this is what you encourage, you fuel a cycle of xenophobia with flawed logic at the base of it, which stokes a fire of racism, mistrust and targeted violence. You can’t liberate a people living their lives a way they choose to do so.
This girl was lucky, she was clearly hurt and wounded, but it could have been worse. All because she stood firm to her beliefs, and refused to bow to xenophobia.
If that’s freedom and democracy, Sarkozy et al., then count me out.
In 2007, women from the Movement of the Indigenous of the Republic took part in the annual 8th of March demonstration in support of women’s struggles. At that time, the American campaign against Iran had begun. We decided to march behind a banner that’s message was “No feminism without anti-imperialism”. We were all wearing Palestinian kaffiyehs and handing out flyers in support of three resistant Iraqi women taken prisoner by the Americans. When we arrived, the organizers of the official procession started chanting slogans in support of Iranian women. We found these slogans extremely shocking given the ideological offensive against Iran at that time. Why the Iranians, the Algerians and not the Palestinians and the Iraqis? Why such selective choices? To thwart these slogans, we decided to express our solidarity not with Third World women but rather with Western women. And so we chanted:
Solidarity with Swedish women!
Solidarity with Italian women!
Solidarity with German women!
Solidarity with English women!
Solidarity with French women!
Solidarity with American women!
Which meant: why should you, white women, have the privilege of solidarity? You are also battered, raped, you are also subject to men’s violence, you are also underpaid, despised, your bodies are also instrumentalized…
I can tell you that they looked at us as if we were from outer space. What we were saying seemed surreal, inconceivable. It was like the 4th dimension. It wasn’t so much the fact that we reminded them of their situation as Western women that shocked them. It was more the fact that African and Arabo-Muslim women had dared symbolically subvert a relationship of domination and had established themselves as patrons. In other words, with this skillful rhetorical turn, we showed them that they de facto had a superior status to our own. We found their looks of disbelief quite entertaining.
Another example: After a solidarity trip to Palestine, a friend was telling me how the French women had asked the Palestinian women if they used birth control. According to my friend, the Palestinian women couldn’t understand such a question given how important the demographic issue is in Palestine. They were coming from a completely different perspective. For many Palestinian women, having children is an act of resistance against the ethnic cleansing policies of the Israeli state.
There you have two examples that illustrate our situation as racialized women, that help understand what is at stake and envisage a way to fight colonialist and Eurocentric feminism.” —
Houria Bouteldja, spokeswoman for the PIR (La Indigènes de la République) speaking at the 4th International Congress of Islamic Feminism, in Madrid, 22 October 2010 via Racialicious
She’s so inspiring.